IoT Hurdles We Need To Face When Creating Products
The Internet of Things is the technology that will lead us further into the future.
14:46 09 January 2020
It promises to be one of the most important components necessary for technology to make a jump forward. Many new technologies will be dependent on such a platform, whether it’s in the form of self-driving cars and the need to communicate with other cars, multiple appliances that form a single network that make up the smart home as a whole, or even in how mobile phones will be able to provide us with much more control of other devices.
It’s because of this future that we have to rethink the way that we design our products. Think of how, by 2020, an estimated 20 billion devices will be connecting and interacting with one another. The IoT technology stack is a concept that every product designer should be aware of if they intend to be competitive in the industry. They also need to be prepared to surmount these product design hurdles.
The setup process is often the very first hurdle your customer is going to face. You have to make sure that the setup process is as simple as it can be, and that the instructions included in the manual are clear enough for most people to understand and follow. This is especially important for models that have yet to become mainstream.
As is true with all battery-powered devices, there will always be a tradeoff between power consumption and performance. A device cannot communicate with a server ceaselessly, that would drain too much power. But a device that does not communicate with servers often enough is useless. After all, delayed information is irrelevant information. Product designers need to be able to find a way to strike a balance.
Users will almost always expect immediate results (don’t we all, after all?). When a user switches on the light through a phone app, the user expects the light to turn on immediately, not five seconds later. This seemingly insignificant time delay has a heavy impact on user experience, in the same way that a slow loading website does. Users aren’t going to care much about the amount of information that your device will have to transmit and receive in order to get results. Only the results matter.
Product Value (To The User)
The greatest challenge in designing any product lies in being able to convince your buyers why they need your product. It will be a challenge to convince the majority of consumers to choose your “smarter” product over conventional alternatives. Imagine trying to sell a prospective buyer an IoT-capable light bulb, when conventional light bulbs do the job just fine at a much lower price point or trying to sell a smart stove when a conventional stove might not only be just as efficient, but also safer.
So, it’s not enough that you’re able to create a product that is capable of working with the IoT platform. As you can expect with any new technology, there will be people who will not be willing to embrace it, and even those who will be skeptical. The trick is to be able to sell how the platform is going to improve the aspects of life that are relevant to the buyer.